Properly disposing of cooking oil

Environmentally Challenged: By Brian Troutman

My wife turned to me on Sunday and said, "What should I do with this old cooking oil?"

I told her to take it outside and pour it on a stump in the yard I had been trying to kill. Unfortunately, after some research I found that this was not the best way to dispose of the oil, nor is it likely to kill the stump.

The grease on that stump could become rancid and kill birds, small mammals and other wildlife that encounter it in my yard.

Not only should you not pour grease on a stump, but you shouldn't pour it down your sink or storm drains either. According to several credible earth-friendly websites, pouring grease down your drain can make chaos of your plumbing and/or create issues at your local wastewater management facility. Storm drains in most cases run directly into rivers, lakes, streams and oceans.

But from this mistake comes understanding. Following is a list of safer options for disposing of old cooking oil.

Ways to properly dispose of old cooking oil

Mix with an absorbing material like newspaper or paper towels and dump in your trash can for transport to a waste management site.

Pour into a container. Allow to cool for reuse, or simply seal and throw it away.

Find a recycling center near your home and drop it off there. Cooking oil is often recycled into bio-diesel.